Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Vacant Storefront on Greenwich Avenue...

Here yesterday, gone today - such is the saga of 16 Greenwich Avenue, which suddenly has "For Rent" signs plastered in its windows. Your scribe couldn't even remember what product had been sold there the day before, and had to ask a neighbor for information. Women's bathing suits, as it turns out - well, no wonder your scribe was not a regular customer.

This particular storefront has had perhaps the highest turnover rate of any on Greenwich Avenue. No one seems to last there for more than just a handful of years. Is it jinxed? One begins to wonder.

Let's see: there used to be a travel agent there for a while. And a sweater shop. And a chocolate shop. Perhaps the most interesting tenant was the Meserve-Coale gallery, which used to offer genuine Renoirs and Utrillos for sale. How often do you get a chance to see real works of art up close, dear reader? Your scribe was sad to see the gallery go....

And what will be next? Will the massage parlor upstairs in the building next door take advantage of the vacancy, and move in? Will some new chain store try to make a go of life on Greenwich Avenue, when so many others are turning tail and leaving? Or will, perhaps, the landlord look for a local tenant, a family-owned business that is here for the long haul, a purveyor of goods or services who believes in the personal touch and will help to start the renaissance of the Avenue?

Let's hope for the best, dear reader. If there is a silver lining to the current economic recession, it is that we have a chance, at last, to reclaim the Avenue for the citizens and merchants of the Town. The outsiders have been and gone, or are going soon; let's put the "Greenwich" back in Greenwich Avenue.


Blogger RTM Member said...

Greenwich Avenue would be helped in its renaissance if the Chamber of Commerce had its own renaissance with a management overhaul ...

August 16, 2009 7:32 AM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

You said it, brother! (Brother RTM member, that is.) The Chamber of Commerce has done more damage to this Town over the years than any other single group. A new store opens up, they flatter them on their sagacity and get them to host an "After Six" party, and within a year or two, they sink without a trace. I call it "the curse of the GCC."

And, of course, they were a major force in bringing all the chain stores to Greenwich Avenue. Could it be because many of their members and officers are also real estate agents and/or owners? Can you spell c-o-n-f-l-i-c-t-o-f-i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t?

I noticed today that the erstwhile Georg Jensen storefront is totally empty except for a 2008 Chamber of Commerce sticker - a common feature of many of the closed storefronts along the Avenue. The curse of the Chamber of Commerce strikes yet again!

August 16, 2009 1:14 PM  

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